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Opening Arguments

In the zone

Hugo Chavez, in his own zone if not his own little world:

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez wants Venezuelan clocks turned back half an hour and he wants it done in record time -- next Monday.

"I don't care if they call me crazy, the new time will go ahead, let them call me whatever they want," Chavez said on his weekly TV show. "I'm not to blame. I received a recommendation and said I liked the idea."

The shift will allow children to wake up for school in daylight instead of before sunrise, Chavez said.

That may seem reasonable to many Venezuelans but ordering the change with little notice and scant public education has raised questions over how much thought was given to the plan.

Something major with little notice and scant public education. Hmmm. Never happen here, of course. Actually, I kind of like Hugo's idea. I've often thought we should have a libertarian approach to time zones -- whatever anybody wants. It might be 10:32 a.m. at my house, but 11:12 a.m. across the street at your house. Time zones were invented in the first place because the stupid railroads wanted to be on time, another case of a giant business screwing the little people.

My kitchen is a separate time zone, by the way. It's been 8:05 in there for a year and a half -- a.m. or p.m., I have no idea -- because the batteries in the wall clock died, and I've seen no reason to replace them. I'm becoming one of those people who check out the time most often by looking at their cell phones.

Posted in: Current Affairs